Yahoo! Go for Mobile Goes Global

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Flying in the face of all the speculation regarding Yahoo!’s future, its Connected Life (mobile) group put out two strong press releases about Go, announcing:

  • The product is coming out of beta in a big way
  • The company is launching localized versions of the service in 13 countries
  • Yahoo! has signed distribution deals with six major Asian carriers

I have a more detailed post about the specifics at SEL. According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal (sub req’d) discussing the announcements:

The new Local and Maps service will offer satellite maps and real-time information on traffic conditions. There will be shortcuts for finding the location of ATMs, restaurants and other places people often search for while on the road. And the software will use global-positioning-system technology embedded in certain high-end devices to help those users find nearby establishments more easily.

Even though a recent iCrossing mobile user survey showed a mobile search usage breakdown tracking Web search market share, other user surveys have shown Yahoo Mail as the number one mobile content destination. Regardless, the mobile market is still very young and effectively wide open.

From a strategic point of view, Yahoo is smart to be so aggressive this early and can potentially establish a leadership position in mobile, provided it can deliver on the lofty usability promises being made by Go.

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